The Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to rebuild their franchise after missing the playoffs for four straight seasons and will need young players like Brandon Ingram to develop quickly if they want to break that streak next year.
After being drafted with the second overall pick last season, Ingram just may have the most potential of anyone in a Lakers uniform even though his rookie season wasn’t the breakout campaign that he was hoping for.
At just over 190 pounds, Ingram’s lack of strength was an issue last season. He often struggled to finish through contact and could be bullied down low, but at just 19 years old he can be expected to bulk up a bit as he gets older. He did improve his finishing as the season went on, which allowed him to end things on a high note.
In a recent interview with Mark Medina of the Southern California News Group, Ingram explained both his short and long term goals:
“In five years, you can say you want to be a superstar in this league and want to win such and such amount of championships,” Ingram said. “But I also want to continue to get better and better each and every year. Of course, you want to win more games every year. But my main goal right now is to get better and get closer toward having a winning team with the Lakers organization.”
Ingram shows wisdom beyond his years with this comment, as many young players do express a desire to become a superstar and win championships. However, he recognizes that this is a long-term goal, something that is going to take years of hard work and dedication to achieve. In the short-term, Ingram understands that he needs to focus on improving little by little, which will ultimately help the Lakers win games.
We have long heard that Ingram’s work ethic is fantastic and this is a great example of him understanding how the daily grind can eventually lead to big things. His rookie season may have been a slow, steady climb rather than a rocket launch, but Ingram may end up better off because of it.